Sunday, July 24, 2011

{recipe} toasted quinoa salad with a lime-jalapeño vinaigrette

I posted this photo a few days ago in my "What I'm Loving Wednesday" post and a few people requested the recipe. It was the recipe for my column this week but I'll blog it here too. It was extremely easy to make and as delicious as a quick leftover lunch as it was the first day. The best part is how incredibly healthy it is. Plus, anything involving cilantro, corn, and avocado is an automatic win for me.

Quinoa is not a grain; it is actually a seed and related to the spinach family. When it is cooked, it is light, fluffy, slightly crunchy but subtly flavored like rice. This isn’t the most interesting information about quinoa though. It contains all 9 essential amino acids that are required by the body as building blocks for muscles. It is full of fiber, manganese, and copper which are all great for ridding your body of toxins. Quinoa is also gluten-free and is a great supplement for vegans. 

Photos by me
Recipe credit: Ezra Pound Cake

Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon oil (vegetable or olive oil)
  • 1 cup corn kernels (I used frozen and cooked it before throwing it in the salad)
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup thin-sliced scallions (white & green parts)
  • 1 ripe avocado, diced
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped

Lime-Jalapeño Dressing:

  •  2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 5 tablespoons oil
  •  ½ cup lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped & seeded jalapeño pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground sea salt


  1. Rinse the quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer under cold water for at least 45 seconds. Shake strainer to remove as much water as possible.
  2.  Heat oil in a large skillet. Add rinsed quinoa and cook, stirring, over medium heat until it is light golden brown, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add 2 cups water to the quinoa, and bring to a boil. Cook, covered, over medium-low heat until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is translucent and appears to be uncoiling, 18 to 20 minutes.
  4. Let stand, uncovered, until cool, about 10 minutes.
  5. Dressing: Sprinkle the cumin in a small skillet, and toast over medium heat, stirring, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. When the skillet is cool to the touch, add the oil, lime juice, jalapeño pepper, garlic and salt. Transfer to a large bowl, and whisk to blend.
  6. Add the cooled quinoa, corn, tomatoes and scallions to the dressing, and toss to blend. Sprinkle avocado and cilantro on top and enjoy!


  1. that looks really tasty too! (and i love your bowl!)

    happy sunday!

  2. Thanks! I got the plate/bowl set at Target a few years ago. I hope you had a great weekend!

  3. i've just stumbled upon your blog & i love it, so cute & so much yummy recipe inspiration! i'm actually an FSU alum too (& went to high school w/ kelsey kline-- small world!) :)

  4. Ah no way! She is one of my best friends. :) I love finding Noles in the blogging world.

  5. Hi Jennifer! I found you on tasty kitchen and I love your blog! I am your newest follower :)

  6. Hi Jen, come across your blog from Pinterest. The salad reeled me in and I have a packet of quinoa in the cupboard which I didnt know what to do with- now I do! YAY. cant wait to read the rest of your blog.


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